Archive for July, 2014


BeckyMy friend. Another one. Dust.

I didn’t get to say everything I wanted to say. Thankfully, in THIS case, most of the major demons from the past were quieted.

Still have friends among the living. Never know what tomorrow brings. Has it all been reconciled? Have I said everything I want to say to them? Done everything I can do? Can I be at peace? Can they?

What to do? It seems obvious and simple, but…where people are involved nothing is ever quite as simple as it could/should be. The goal is to overcome that and push through anyway, before it is too late…

Cutting the Rope

ropelong4It’s a classically dramatic movie scene. Someone is dangling by a rope held only by it being attached to another person who has a tenuous foothold. As the pressure mounts and exhaustion kicks in the two struggling people begin to realize the situation is gravely dangerous for more than just the person dangling.

Try as she might the person with the foothold isn’t able to muster the strength to pull the unfortunate victim to safety, and as her own situation becomes more perilous she must now contemplate cutting herself free. Once she believes there is no way to save the other person she must now resort to saving herself. So she cuts the rope.

And is forever saddled with the image of the victim falling to his death. All of the outsiders tell her she did what she had to do and didn’t do anything wrong by giving up. She may even believe that herself, but still there is that haunting image (feeling).

What would have happened if she’d held on a little longer? Might the victim have mustered the strength to climb up? Perhaps some other force might have intervened. We don’t know. We accept that she did what she had to do and go on with our lives.

…go on with our lives. Because we weren’t the person who got cut loose. We still have choices and a life in which to make them.

Self preservation being what it is, we do recognize and accept some amount of cowardice in a true life and death situation. But there are many situations that occur in life that aren’t this dire, for either party. Is cutting the rope really acceptable? Again, society and our friends tell us it is. But is it? When the burden becomes too inconvenient or risk too great we all can get a pass for bailing out. This is the morality we’ve grown up with. Is it really right? Is it best? Someone needs your help (specifically you, not just general help from anyone). When and why would it be okay to ignore that?

Fortunately most of us are rarely if ever put in to situations like these. What would you do if it did come down to saving some part of yourself or risking a lot (maybe not your life, but something consequential) to provide a lifeline of sorts to another. Would/could you do it? How would it be different if it were partly your fault the two of you are in the predicament in the first place? Would you still be able to cut the rope when it felt too dangerous?

Imagine what it must be like on the other end…to be cut lose. For someone you’ve come to rely on for whatever reason to turn her back and decide you aren’t worth it. What do you think goes through a person’s mind when in that free-fall?

When I weigh all that out, from both sides, it’s clear to me that I would not (could not?) cut that rope. I would go down with the ship, trying ’til the end to do something to save someone. It may be selfish. I don’t want to live seeing that face looking back up at me. Sometimes we do the right things for not the most idealistic reasons.

You better think about how the future looks, and what’s really right, before you apply that knife. And if you decide to cut I hope you can mange the guilt. I would not be able to. I’d rather take the consequences of not cutting. Maybe I am the coward…but I don’t think so.
















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